Category Archives: family

what did you *ship* last year?

I liked this blog posting by Seth Godin, who I think is a total genius in so many ways – not least in that he fearlessly tosses out a million ideas and the few hundred that catch on are so worth it.   there’s a big time lesson in that.   So I sent this out to some friends, one of whom has replied – she’s done so much in the last year and yet she limited herself to seven things, which I also think is so brilliant.    I need to do that – have been thinking that I need to do something like predict how big something will be and then divide it in half and focus on those points.

  1. wrote six articles and uploaded them to 101friends publications page, did the project for CLBC
  2. supported BCPF to have a conference/AGM/film premiere
  3. talked to about 20 different groups of people (about 2000 people) about natural supports for folks with disabilities
  4. finished year one of grad school and did well and had fun
  5. connected with many leaders as a peer and colleague and made/deepened some great friendships
  6. went camping in oregon
  7. started a new role and figured out how to finance it within Spectrum
  8. did a number of drawings and learned some new ways to make art



nearly done…

the holidays are nearly done…   the year is nearly done…  i am nearly done the ninth book in Robin Hobb’s Farseer series; by tomorrow I may know the fate of the fool, who has been healed and left on the island with the black man, who was a white prophet.    this series blows me away, and it’s also making me a bit sad.   partly because it’s nearly done, and i’ve read all her other works as Robin Hobb (but need to now look for Meghan Lindholm’s books – her other pseudonym) and partly because it’s so incredible to me that she’s managed to create this whole universe which rings so congruent and consistently throughout all the books.    I’ve been frustrated with the main character, and now that’s all resolved and I see that I was led to that frustration quite intentionally.   wow.  that’s all.   how does one do this?

she says you just sit down and you start to write, and then you send things out…

so this is the quandry, at the end of a year in which i’ve met most of the goals that i’d set myself – what next?   part of getting older is realizing that some doors close (and others open) but another part of it is realizing that the things one hoped for aren’t really as satisfying as one had thought.    i started making a dreamboard collage tonight.   looking at the one that i made last year around this time.    and started thinking of what else i might do…   it seems late in the game to be switching careers but, “what if?”   which leads to me a list of things that won’t ever be satisfied in this current world-view i am focused on.    the evidence is in, after 23 years, about what’s possible and not possible, what people want, what collegiality might be for others…   and i have to wonder if it’s really all i wanted?

i know, on the one hand, that i’ve been incredibly lucky to have had this career and these colleagues.   and yet…   it makes me think of sherri tepper who, after a career in some kind of social worker, retired early and became a prolific and excellent writer of amazing novels.    not sure what she’s doing now.   or i might make art.   or…

on the verge of a new year, it feels like a lot of questions need answering, and a new plan needs to be drawn up.   i guess what i started off thinking about was that as one gets older one realizes more and more what one doesn’t want to do – i’ve done enough management.    i don’t want to do more foster-care.   i feel too old to have another child (although this has been one of the best things i’ve done, and elton john at 64 just had a baby yesterday!  and hugh hefner just announced his engagement, at 84, to a 24 year old woman).   i don’t want to be so obsessive.   i don’t want to be anyone’s assistant.   i want to feel i’ve got some things on my own.   i don’t think i want to go into business – it feels late to do that, and what would i sell?   i don’t want to work as hard as my travelling workshop colleagues who go from place to place…

the big accomplishment, or one of them, of the last year is getting a third of the way through a master’s degree.  another is being able to stand up in front of audiences and do workshops around the province.   illustrating the CLBC book is an accomplishment too….

and i made some art…  about a dozen drawings, a few of them that i liked.

things to build on.


Martha Stewart Cornmeal Biscotti with Pistachios and Cranberries

so here’s part of our family mythology.    When we went for the first time to meet Zev at his foster-mom’s house (Grandma Carolyn, who has become a great friend…   a whole other story) I thought we should take cookies.   I had this new martha stewart book and made these.   The kids (there were five of them then) were so excited about home-made cookies and then ended up gnawing on these brick-like little biscuits…   it was pretty funny.   I’ll see if i can find the photo of zev watching Gary eat his and trying to copy him 🙂

probably not the best cookies for kids but we look forward to them every year…   i’ll put up a photo of them when they’re done.   my little sister sent a wonderful box of goodies today and included some shortbread – i’d spent the day making shortbread and we did a taste-test.   hers were better 🙂   oh well…



Makes about 2 dozen

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped pistachios


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Put butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until smooth. Add sugar and mix until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time, until well combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture all at once; mix until just combined. Add lemon zest, cranberries, and pistachios and mix until combined.
  3. Transfer dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pat into a log that is roughly 14 by 3 1/2 inches. Bake until firm, lightly browned, and slightly cracked on top, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool on sheet on a wire rack, about 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer log to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake cookies, rotating sheet halfway through, until they begin to brown at edges, 15 to 18 minutes. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.

Read more at Cranberry-Pistachio Cornmeal Biscotti – Martha Stewart Recipes


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